February 14, 2014
The future of rural Australia was on the agenda in Canberra as young people from around the country gathered at Parliament house for the 2014 Heywire Regional Youth Summit.
Speaking at the Heywire dinner event last night, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the forty winners were leading the debate on emerging issues in rural and regional Australia.
"These young rural Australians are standing up to ensure their unique and important stories are heard. They are proudly representing their home towns and increasing awareness of the diverse and unique challenges facing our rural communities," he said.
Senator Colbeck commended this year's entries which include intimate and broader community stories that reflect rural life and issues of the moment.
"The popular themes from this year included resilience in the face of fire and flood, mental health and young women in agriculture," he said.
"They all have unique stories to tell and it is great to see young people seizing the opportunity to put their issues on the national agenda."
Senator Colbeck said the Heywire Regional Youth Summit is a great opportunity for young Australians from regional communities to come together, tell their stories and send an important message to the rest of the country.
"I have no doubt the Heywire winners will put the valuable skills they learnt to good use when they return home. They are role models for young people in rural Australia," he said.
Heywire invites young rural Australians to submit stories about themselves and their communities.
Winners attend the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra each year, where they take part in workshops to develop their communication and leadership skills.
Since it began in 1998, Heywire has helped more than 9000 young Australians have their stories heard and network with other young people from rural and regional Australia.
For more information on Heywire visit http://www.abc.net.au/heywire/